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New Agreement
2005-11-15 19:00
by Will Carroll

Passed. Awaiting ratification, but that's essentially a rubber stamp from players and owners - this negotiation did not happen in a vacuum. More on this soon in BP, perhaps tomorrow.

However, if you'd like to discuss, this is as close to an open thread as I'm ever getting.

2005-11-15 19:25:43
1.   Lefty
Hey Will, hope you enjoyed the Series.

If the drug technology is always ahead of the testing, what is the point of all this? Are there really so few users of THG or whatever else can't be easily detected that the new regime will get steroids out of the game?

2005-11-15 19:32:04
2.   Scott Long
2 questions.

How can they set up such Draconian sentences when there are issues like what happened with Mike Morse last year?

Also, where do you weigh-in on Tuesday night's House episode, which discussed a bicyclist who had some different adventures with blood doping, etc?

2005-11-15 20:26:38
3.   Todd S
I like the new penalties, but am very concerned with Scott's first question. Double or triple penalizing may be an issue.
2005-11-15 21:26:32
4.   chris in illinois
What are the penalties for using illegal amphetimines? Oooops!! Forgot. Those aren't a problem in baseball.

Rhetorical question here: Why aren't cortizone shots considered to be performance enhancing drugs?? Do these shots not allow players to perform when they otherwise couldn't. Isn't that the ultimate performance enhancement?? If a doctor were to prescribe steroids would a player be exempt from the penalties??

Just wondering.

2005-11-15 21:38:49
5.   Another Tom
Cortizone? Wow. It wouldn't be that much of the proverbial slippery slope to Advil and Tylenol.

Hey Will, where does this leave HGH?

I also read that it will be an independent administrator. Are we going to see Olympic quality testing? Or just the same 'ol Walmart pregnancy/'roid/cold sore testing out of a box...

2005-11-15 21:42:49
6.   Scoutjay
Not to pick on Chris, but why isn't coffee a performance enhancing drug?

The way I look at is with a big dose of pragmitism. What are the outcomes of taking cortizone? Does it have long-term health effects? Presumably, it does not or it would be banned or made illegal. Steroids are very dangerous and they do have long-term health effects.

With the amphetimine issue, I think a good parellel is with the NBA and marijuana. If you knew that 60% (or some other high percentage) of people were taking something illegal in your office, would you not be wary about testing for it? Whether we like it or not, these are the realities that Stern and Selig are faced with. It may not be right, but that's the way it is.

I am not condoning the use of anything illegal but I can understand where these guys are coming from. It's a serious moral issue, but it's not one that I think we are likely to get concrete answers for, at least from pro sports.

2005-11-15 21:51:53
7.   chris in illinois
Scoutjay, that was my point, in a manner of speaking. Steroids aren't illegal if prescribed by a physician. I think ortizone is only available by prescription as well, making its non-doctor sanctioned use illegal (cortizone does have negative effects if used too often).

I know why they don't want to touch the amphetimine issue, but when they bring up the b.s. 'for the kids' issue when discussing steroids, I'm reminded that amphetimines are a MUCH more serious issue in my neck of the woods than 'roids are.

2005-11-15 21:53:16
8.   chris in illinois
BTW, Caffiene does enhance performance (at least mental acuity).
2005-11-15 22:31:24
9.   Cliff Corcoran
Two things:

1) Amphetamines are included in the new policy, the penalty schedule is less severe, but still gets up to 80 games by third offense.

2) Cortizone is administered by trainers, never possessed or self-administered by players. Also, the prevailing logic is that cortizone simply allows a player to return to their natural level of ability, whereas performance enhancers allow a player to exceed their natural abilities.

2005-11-15 22:46:31
10.   chris in illinois

1) Thanks for the info. I'd be interested to know what the 'detectable life' of amphetimines are.

2) Logic has no place in this discussion. That being said, ---puts on old guy hat----, Babe Ruth didn't have cortizone, these records are tainted!!

2005-11-15 22:49:06
11.   chris in illinois
One more point:

"...whereas performance enhancers allow a player to exceed their natural abilities..."

If the only way you can play is to get a shot of a manufactured substance (cortizone) aren't you exceeding your natural abilities?? If you can't naturally move your neck, doesn't a shot that now allows that range of motion enhancing your performance??

2005-11-15 23:04:22
12.   Cliff Corcoran
Slippery slope, Chris. If you can't walk without a pin in your ankle, but with that pin you can move well enough to play first or DH, is that a performance-enhancing pin? Does having that pin in your ankle mean you should not be allowed to play? Tommy John surgery sure seems pretty unnatural to me, should TJ recipients be banned for having had performance-enhancing surgery?

As mentioned above, never mind caffine or ibuprofen etc.

Of course, one could argue that the whole PED discussion is one giant slippery slope, but the conventinal wisdom seems comfortable with the explanation in my previous comment.

2005-11-16 01:00:44
13.   dbt
The difference between cortisone and steroids is that cortisone doesn't help if you're already healthy, no? It's a pretty easy line to draw... why it didn't include amphetamines before this week is another question.
2005-11-16 05:39:40
14.   TFD
I'm with Scott, I want to know everyone's thoughts on that "House" episode, which btw must be the best show on TV (if I watched more I could give a definitive.)

The different doctors treating a supposed drug abuser beautifully brought out all sides of the 'steroid' debate.

Anyone else watch?

BTW, Chris put down those Rand books, ok? ;-)

2005-11-16 06:48:58
15.   jgpyke
With the steroids policy, there will obviously be public disclosure whenever a player has a sudden "vacation," but the amphetamines policy calls for a suspension only after the second positive.

Does this mean that the first positive will be kept a secret? If so, that's too bad. Anyone know more about this?

2005-11-16 14:55:04
16.   chris in illinois

Low Blow. I may have thought the Fountainhead was the bees knees in 1988 or so, but these days I'm a Lincoln man.

I'm just trying to remind everyone that this steroid issue isn't black and white and that's the performance enhancement problems aren't going away anytime soon.

2005-11-16 17:14:46
17.   kylepetterson
I shattered my tibial plateau and tore my acl a year ago and w/o surgery wouldn't have been able to walk without a serious limp. Thanks to a ligament from another part of my knee and a bunch of titanium screws within 6 months I should be able to run normally again. Therefore, my performance has been enhanced. But has it been enhanced above my bodies natural abilities? I think that's the question. Most people don't have the ability to double in size from muscle mass in their late thirties....
2005-11-16 20:22:47
18.   chris in illinois
One of the big arguments swirling around the steroid issue is that the juicing has ruined the record book. The thinking apparently is that these big chemically enhanced players are competing unfairly with the Ruths, Cobbs and Koufaxes of years' past.

It's a compelling case for sure. I have a problem differentiating between steroid use and arm surgeries. Of course, there is a difference, the steroid user is trying to transcend his biology while the Kerry Woods of the world are just trying to get back to where they were. The trick here is how do we know surgeries don't make some pitchers better?? Is that fair?? More importantly, isn't the fact that sophisticated surgeries are available in 2005 unfair to Sandy Koufax and his legacy?? If the "steroids are ruining the record book" crowd is to be believed, doesn't it follow that modern medical care, jet travel, superior field conditions, awesome equipment and a million other advances also unlevel the historical playing field??

2005-11-17 01:21:41
19.   Romyrick
The MLB needs a mole to sell "fail proof" performance inhancers to players, when they are caught they will have no one to blame but themselves.

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